The Independent Group at Cheshire East Council has elected a Wilmslow councillor as their new Leader, following the resignation of Cllr Craig Browne.
At a Group Meeting held on Monday, 5th February, members elected Cllr Michael Gorman (Wilmslow West & Chorley) as their new Leader and Group nominee to the position of Deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council.
Michael Gorman has lived in Wilmslow for over 25 years and joined both Cheshire East Council and Wilmslow Town Council following the elections in May 2023.
Cllr Gorman commented "I am delighted and honoured that the Group has chosen me as Leader. I am passionate about independent politics, but also keen to encourage cross-party collaboration wherever possible. These are very difficult times for the local government sector and it is essential that we protect local services as much as possible, whilst avoiding the threat of a Section 114 notice."
At the same meeting, Cllr Mick Warren (Macclesfield East) was elected as the new Deputy Group Leader. He said "I have been an elected member since May 2015 and have gained experience, first in opposition and latterly as Chair of the Environment & Communities Committee.
"Previously I served in HM forces and as a Police Officer and look forward to using my experience to support Cllr Gorman in his new role, as well as in helping to support the development of other members of the Independent Group. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Cllr Craig Browne for his work in leading the Group over the last five years, in particular in bringing stability to both the Group and the Council."
Cllr Craig Browne will step down as Group Leader & Deputy Leader at the new Council meeting on 27th February as he will be taking up a new position as Chief Executive at Citizens Advice North Staffordshire.
He added, "I would like to offer my congratulations to Cllr Gorman & Cllr Warren and assure them of my support going forwards.
"Although I am stepping down to take up a new challenge, I will be continuing as Ward Councillor for Alderley Edge and as an active member of the Independent Group. I am delighted that the Group is in safe hands and I am sure it will continue to prosper over the course of the next few years."